Sunday, August 31, 2008

Smoke Signals

Omid was a busy boy these last few days. When he wasn't playing dress up at Sportman's Warehouse, he was smoking fish.He made up a big ole' bowl of brine and marinated sturgeon, tuna and salmon.

Finished product.

Papa: Bring that bottle of Scotch you've been promising!

Saturday, August 30, 2008


Omid, Matty & I ran a bunch of errands today. I was thinking about lunch and the sandwich I would make when we got home. I had toasted cheese & tomato sandwiches on the brain. Omid had a different kind of lunch (& a much better idea) on his brain.

This is what he made for the two of us. Kids were on their own!

Thanks to Nas for adding the fig leaf to Omid's apron (I didn't want my blog to get flagged!).
Now that's what I call lunch!

Buy This!

Matty & I were at Costco yesterday and tried a sample of the new Kraft Bagel-fuls. One word to describe these: scrumpdillyicious. These taste very similar to the cream cheese puff pastries I make.
I sent Matty back to the sample table multiple times. Needless to say: we bought a box and they are already half gone. They are really tasty dipped in honey, too. I see another trip to Costco in my future today.
They are made with Philadelphia Brand cream cheese and not HyTop brand. That makes them even more delicious. ;)
Have you seen the commercial on tv for these (the lady on the subway)? They are as good as she says they are.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Sticker Shock!

I cannot believe how much groceries have increased in exactly 2 weeks. I was in sticker shock at Winco Foods today. Winco is usually the cheapest of the cheap and I felt their prices matched Fred Meyer or even QFC today. I bought most of the same ingredients I did two weeks ago and many of those same items had increased by a dollar! I even called my sister while shopping to complain.

I had to do what I didn't want to do. I was forced to buy "store brand" products (in order to stay on my budget). HyTop brand. It doesn't even sound fancy. HyTop cream cheese vs. Philadelphia Cream Cheese: a whole dollar difference! I love CC (just as much as you, Sarah), but I cannot pay $1.98 for a brick. So...I purchased the .98 brick. HyTop flour vs. Gold Medal. Yikes! $1.88 for a 5 lb. bag vs. $3.28. I sure hope prices go back to normal after the election. I am SICK of this inflation. I want my brand name products back!!!!! Oh! Something else I noticed. All of the good-for-you healthy foods were so darn expensive, but the junk food/crap was very affordable. That was irritating.

On a good note: Costco gas was $ 3.64 a gallon today! Woo hoo!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

7 fun facts

Thanks for the tag, Sarah.

#1. I love cheese just as much as my father-in-law does (though I will acknowledge that he is the King of Cheese Enthusiasts). Who knew there was a gorgonzola 'dulce' - thanks for that one, Arezoujoon!

#2. I used to collect egg cups (yes, egg cups - those little cups for holding soft boiled eggs). Please note the past tense of the verb "use" - I don't want any for Xmas, thanks anyway. When we moved a few years back, I realized the collection was taking over my china hutch and I had to de-clutter my life. I started with the collection of egg cups. Right now I currently collect dust (& I am not proud of it).

#3. I am absolutely OCD about raw chicken. Ask anyone! I am the only one allowed in my family to clean cutting boards/counter tops after raw chicken has touched the surfaces. It all stems from getting sick one time after a surface wasn't properly sanitized. Now that is my job and my job alone. I will even come to your house and bring my own Clorox Clean Up to sanitize your cutting boards/counter tops if you'd like. Omid's mom says I have a 'chicken allergy' and she is absolutely correct!

#4. I am currently obsessed with reading Ethiopian adoption blogs of friends (& yes, even complete strangers). I am currently a big fan of Team Alexander. They are a God-loving, good looking family (& they even own 2 Vizslas - what's not to like?!).

#5. When I was in h.s., I was friends with ALL the exchange students (every year). My goal was to go home with each and every one of them for a year. I sort of did that. I went home with one (Hi Salla!!) to Finland for 6 weeks. I had the best time and even got to speak at a Rotary luncheon in Harjavalta, Finland to a bunch of Rotarians. Loved it!

#6. I am regretting my decision to homeschool my kids at their early age. I even thought about it for this year, but knew my kids would HATE me for it now. It's not the school system in Camas I don't like (because I absolutely LOVE the teachers (except for a BAD one at the HS); but the kids! There are so many BAD apples out there. I have fantasies of calling their parents and telling them how bad their kids are and to KEEP them AWAY from my precious babies who are perfect in every sense.

#7. I call businesses with reader boards and let them know if there is a misspelling. I have been known to mark up teacher/homeowner association/PTA newsletters with red ink and send them back. Spelling ranks high in my book!

Brenda & Arezou - I am tagging you two!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Not much happening today. Just some random pix.

fresh figs & gorgonzola cheese for lunch - yummers!

Remy wanting some of my lunch

Matty fresh from a haircut (which he styled into a 'faux-hawk').

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Watch this amazing slideshow of the Alexander Family as they meet their new baby boy. Sweet!!! ** Have a tissue or two handy.

Here is their blog link as well:

Kind, hard-working mom seeks employment

It's official.

Today I start looking for either a brand new job or a second one to supplement our income. The district cut my hours to the point that no $ would be able to go into the college savings or regular savings (& that was our main goal). With the higher prices of everything these days, there was absolutely no room for saving my paycheck. So...would anybody like to hire me? Please?!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Matty, Evan, Arezou & Nas

Arezou & Evan came over for dinner last night. Omid bbq'd tri tip and it was sooo good. There are only 4 pieces left, two of which I am saving for my lunch today. Nas baked & frosted a "funfetti" cake for dessert. Check out her blog for pics. It was really good and there are only 2 pieces of cake left. Obviously one piece for each of my kids.

Sunday, August 24, 2008


The kids and I met up with Arezou, Evan, Earl & Pak for breakfast this morning.
The restaurant featured a very loud piano player and we almost had to yell at each other to be heard. The pianist played a medley of the 70's throughout the brunch. At one of the pianists breaks, we heard him very loudly ask the waitress what that white stuff was on the biscuits. Matty loudly replied from our table, 'GRAVY." **Note to readers: Remember this for the last photo explanation.

Arezou's arms & lap, Evan, Earl, Pak & my right eye

Matty, Arezou & Evan

Matty, Arezou & Evan (again!)

We made Matty construct an "office" out of menus so we couldn't see his plate. Everytime I looked at what he had on it, I wanted to be sick. Here's a photo of his 2nd trip through the buffet line.

A Belgian waffle with powdered sugar, chocolate chips, M&Ms, & whipped cream AND biscuits & gravy. When Matty brought the plate to the table, I asked him what the "white stuff" was and Nas replied with a laugh, "Gravy!" Ha ha! We all laughed over that one.

At the end of the meal, Arezou told Matty she would give him $20 if he would get up and dance to whatever the pianist was playing. He said, "okay!" He actually did it! He did a mixture of interpretive dance & ballet. It was hilarious! Though the pianist didn't think so (he thought Matty was stealing his thunder). He immediately started playing something that sounded ominous and dark. Matty got the message and sat down. A fun ending to our brunch. :)

As promised, we spent the evening over at the Kelloggs. Lin made salad rolls, egg rolls, Szechuan chicken & sangria for dinner.

Sean & Carla
Sean lighting a cigar with a blowtorch (?)
Lin making eggrolls

Finished product (they were delicious!)

Amy eating the yummy rice that I made & it was delicious too

Carla helping with salad rolls

Nas & Amy

Matty & Matt

Sometime during the evening the menfolk decided they needed to go fishing in the morning. Lin made some sandwiches for the trip. I got up early with Omid to make coffee and help him load the boat, but didn't have the energy to take my camera out.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

We went for a walk/run/bicycle trip with the Kellogg's this morning. It was just supposed to be Nas/Omid/Lia & Ward but ended up being all of us plus two dogs. I tried to get out of it (hello! I am in mourning here! Gus?!). Lin & Ward didn't even remember who Gus was! Can you believe it! I couldn't! :) Omid said to Lin several times: Gus! You know Gus! She said, "no, I don't think I know who Gus is." Unbelievable! anyways....we ALL had to go on the exercise trip.

Yes - you are seeing correctly. Babies & puppies in the BACK of the pickup. I thought this was illegal. I stated this fact over and over again. Over and over again I was told that if there is no space up front (in the pick up) then humans can sit in the back of a pick up (apparently this is all legal). Ward & Lin both assured me and both times I assured them I was NOT happy with the situation.
After our 3.5 mile walk/run/bicycle trip, we came back and I made the dogs stay outside (my floors were freshly mopped, thank you very much).

We ordered Domino's Pizza for lunch (nummy)

Planning dinner for this evening. We spent all almost 5 hours with our friends this a.m. and are having a two hour break. We are going to the Kellogg's for dinner tonight where I am sure we will stay for 5 or 6 more hours. We must love each other!! + the fact we havent' seen them in almost a month!!

A death in the family

It's a sad morning at our house (at least for me, it is). One of our walking sticks, Gus, passed sometime between midnight and 8 a.m. He was the friskiest of the bunch too. Poor guy! I checked him again and again to make sure he was really gone (WS are masters at 'playing' dead). Omid even checked him for me this morning. Sorry Sarah! I promise you I took very good care of him; it must have been his time.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Afternoon on the river

We spent the afternoon on the river enjoying the sunshine that decided to return. Our friend Richard joined us. He spent the summer in Japan and finally returned back to Camas last week.

Omid, Matty & Richard swimming in the Columbia.

bbqing hamburgers


Matty, Remy & Richard

Matty & Richard


Our Captain


Omid & I

What is it about dogs & sand? Remy spent the entire time trying to dig a tunnel to China. It was so sweet. Here's a video of the first tunnel he tried to dig. There were so many holes it was hard not to step in them (& twist our ankles).

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Corrie ten Boom

I am currently reading The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom. It has been years since I've read this book and it's so great to be re-reading it. It's not the best book for late night reading, as the adrenaline starts running through my veins (& then I get so excited I can't sleep). Anyhoo - a good read for anyone looking for one.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


I went to a cross country parent meeting tonight. It was so much fun, it made me wish I was back in HS (just so I could be part of this great team). I signed Omid up to bbq at an upcoming event! Should be fun!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

This is the image I have in my mind of my 'prayer jar.' I have a lot (a lot!) of stress/worries in my life right now. I have always heard, 'cast your worries on God' and that is what I am finally going to do. I have mentally written all my worries/prayer requests down and stuffed them in this jar. I have also told Jesus to take these away and deal with them because I cannot. I have had several prayers answered in the last week and am sure (sure!) others will be answered as well.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Your dad is Omid if...

Nas found lots of surveys on Facebook and merged several of the answers from the Persian, Asian & Indian quizzes to fit Omid. Read below and see if you are just like him:

Failing a class means finding a new place to live.

You ask your dad help on your math homework and 2 hours later he’s still lecturing you

You have a 40 lb. bag of rice in your pantry

You get 99% on a math test, and your dad says, "What happened to the other 1%?"

When you go to buffets, your dad make you eat until you think you're going to hurl, and even after you do, he says, "good, eat more."

You bring home straight A's, and your dad says, "So? You're supposed to get that!"

Your dad read about some super nerd who has no life and got in the paper for scoring highest in the SAT's and asks why you can't be more like him.

Your dad expects you to become a doctor.

Your dad compares you to other kids who are wayyy smarter than you... and tells you to be more like them.

You buy corn oil by the gallon.

You are standing next to the two largest suitcases at the Airport

There is a sale on any item, you buy 100 of them.

Your relatives alone could populate a small city.

No matter what you wear, your dad thinks it's too revealing.

Goodbye's take at least an hour!

Every meal contains rice and a side item

You have at least one Persian rug in every room

You can’t even think about having a boyfriend until you are like 30

You drink tea before, during, and after every meal

Iranian satellite is on 24-7 at your house

The real question is what type of doctor you want to be

You never run out of sunflower sees, pumpkin seeds, or pistachios in your house

Your dad calls you to see where you are at 9pm and at least three times every hour after that.

You tell your dad you’re going out, and he whips out a list of questions like: “Where are you going?” “Who’s going to be there?” “How many guys, how many girls?” “Do I know their parents?”

You know you're Persian when...

I know, I know, I'm not Persian...but my hubby is and my kids are 1/2 - so I can post this list (& still identify with several of the characteristics). :)

You know you're Persian when...

No matter what you wear, your dad thinks it's too revealing.

-Your mom regifts every single one of her gifts.

-After dinner the women fight each other to wash the dishes.

-Goodbye's take at least an hour!

- You drive a Mercedes or BMW or plan to get one in the near future

-Your parents will offer something to your American friends (tarof) and when your friends accept, your parents think they are rude

-Every meal contains rice and a side item

-All your parents ever do is brag about how amazing you are

-You can’t even think about having a boyfriend until you are like 30

-You have at least one Persian rug in every room

-You drink tea before, during, and after every meal

-Iranian satellite is on 24-7 at your house

-Your friends think its weird that you take your shoes off whenever you enter a house
-The real question is what type of doctor you want to be

-You never run out of sunflower sees, pumpkin seeds, or pistachios in your house

- Your mom calls you to see where you are at 9pm and at least three times every hour after that.

-You tell your parents you’re going out, they whip out a list of questions like: “Where are you going?” “Who’s going to be there?” “How many guys, how many girls?” “Do I know their parents?”

---Your parents and grandparents always have some sort of weird, ancient remedy they learned in Iran in the 1950s that they’re convinced will cure any illness.

-Your parents force you to continue going to school…not just for your education, but also so that other Persian families will respect you more

-A relative or family friend always mentions how big you’ve gotten and they remember you when you were this (they illustrate with their hands) tall, even when they saw you two weeks ago.

-The same relative or family friend always asks if you’re getting all A’s in school, and of course you say “yes, of course” even when you’re a straight C student.

-If someone calls from Iran or your parents call Iran, they talk so loud that the neighbors can hear them and they talk for at least a couple hours.

-Also, after your parents finish talking to relatives in Iran, they force you to come talk to them as well even though you have the biggest American accent on the planet and they probably can't understand a lick of what you're saying.

-You have at least one female in the family who dyes or highlights her hair blonde.

-When family friends or relatives call and ask you if you remember them, you lie because you cant tell the truth and then they ask "Who am I?", you just give the phone to your dad.

We woke up to some very loud claps of thunder this morning. Remy must have jumped a foot in the air and ran out of the room. I found him in the hallway shaking & shivering and panting like crazy. I gave him some Bach's Rescue Remedy and it took a while to take effect, but put him in a happy place.
Tip: Rescue Remedy is for people too! Try it!

Sunday, August 17, 2008


Ok~! It has come to my attention that NO ONE wants my hokey prizes. Several people I spoke with today told me they didn't comment because they didn't want to win a gift bag full of stuff from the US Govt. So....feel free to leave a comment or not - and let me know if you want any of the fun free stuff we received yesterday! :)

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Omid bbq'd salmon for us tonight. Nas & I made Pioneer Woman's Crash Hot Potatoes as a side dish. One word for the entire dinner = DELICIOUS!
We are home from our day of experiencing free things (or almost free). We kept our day to under $20 (which was our goal). We headed out to the Port of Portland's Seaport Celebration. This is the one day of the year the P.o.P. opens the port to visitors. There were police all around to make sure the bad guys didn't get in. We had to show our driver's licenses twice. Once to get in and a second time to tour the port.

Us on the shuttle bus

FREE lunch sponsored by the Longshoreman's Union

Nice AC'd tour bus

$8 million dollar cranes ($8 million each) to load/unload cargo

Free resusable shopping bags filled with all sorts of goodies

sample container tour

More free goodies at the Radio Disney booth (we didn't win HS Musical tickets, darn it).

All in all, here is what we came home with: 5 reusable shopping bags from the P.o.P, 4 water bottles, 12 pens, 4 highlighters,3 key chains, 3 whistles, 3 luggage tags, 2 cd holders, 6 magnets and 4 apples. Cool.

After our trip to the Port, we still had FREE imprinted on our brains (GLAD term!) so we headed over to Hawthorne Blvd. for Hawthorne Day. We saw many eclectic people and had fun browsing in the shops & people watching. It was a little warm for the kids so we stopped for beverages (pop, juice and beer). All in all - we spent about $19 on beverages & ice cream. It was a lot of fun.

Moonshadow Cafe

Tip: I found out about both these adventures on the KATU website (plan your weekend). If I hadn't checked for free family adventures, who knows what we would have spent our day (spending $ we don't have, no doubt!).

Leave me your favorite free tip (what you do for fun that is free) and if you are the winner, I will give you a FREE CD holder from the US CUSTOMS & BORDER PROTECTION, + a whole bunch of other goodies from the Port.